Monday, March 29, 2004
Waiting and wondering suck
So I get up this morning, ready to go to work, and I notice things are off or out of place. Or, more accuratelly, I think I notice things like that. I can't be sure. Is the stuff in the medicine cabinet out of place? My underwear drawer? Does this thing being missing give Carter any reason to be suspicious?
I was on pins and needles about this all morning. I practically jumped out of my skin when Carter stopped by to say hi. This, I thought, is no way to live, but what to do about it. Then, around eleven, I had an idea. I told Mr. K I had some errands to run and would be taking a long lunch at around 12:30, then when that time came took the green line to Lechmere.
Fortunately, Mags is a creature of habit. Ten months after we broke up, she's still going to the same place for lunch at the same time.
I almost didn't go in. I've talked to her a few times since, well, since July, but it's been months, and a lot of times, it's been sort of playing games, you know? There's been a sort of layer between us. But now...
I took a deep breath, went in, and sat down across the table from her. It was crowded, so she didn't even look up despite my not asking. I plunked the bottle of "cologne" down in front of her, and then she looked up. She didn't recognize me at first, and then she did, vaguely. Asked if she knew me.
Sort of, kind of, I said. I told her that I needed the stuff in the bottle analyzed, and I didn't know any other biochemists. I explained that I couldn't pay much, and in fact I was sort of counting on her curiosity to be enough. She sort of studied it, then opened it and gave it a sniff. For cologne, she said, it doesn't have a very strong scent.
None at all, I said, but if I had done what she'd just done, I'd have to change my underwear.
She looked at me skeptically, giving me the "I think you're some kind of bimbo" look, in fact, but I shrugged, told her I couldn't explain it. She pushed it back at me, saying that was very interesting but even if she didn't think it was a hoax, she could get in trouble having some kind of unknown chemical not developed by her company in her possession, and for all she knew this was some kind of industrial espionage deal. I really didn't want to go back to wondering, so I begged, and in the process called her Mags instead of Margaret or Maggie.
She looked at me really strange. That had been sort of a private nickname between her and me/Martin, and I almost thought she knew something, but she shook it off. "Oh, you're my ex's friend's girlfriend."
"Oh." A pause. "So you probably wouldn't have heard from Marty?"
I shook my head. "Even before I broke up with Kurt," which sounds better than him dumping me, "they weren't exactly keeping in touch. Kurt always said that you were really smart, and... And I kind of need someone I can trust but don't really know." At least as Michelle.
We just sat in silence for a moment, and then she put the tiny half-ounce bottle in her purse. "I can't promise anything. And this is an off-the-books, in my spare time when I've got the lab area to myself deal, understand? I could get in trouble, and if I do, you're going down with me."
I could have kissed her. Instead, we both made comments about me having to get back to work, and so we went.
I must admit, it was a load off my mind. At least until I started writing this, when I thought that maybe the whole "make Marty a girl" thing might have been some sort of twisted revenge for how we broke up, with me not understanding her perspective. Good luck on sleeping, now.
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